LSU leads all-time 50-33 in a series that dates back to 1954. This will be the fourth time over the last three years the teams have met in the tournament, with the Tigers winning two of the previous three.
Vanderbilt took the series in Baton Rouge (May 7-9), marking the third straight season series win over the Tigers (2006, 2007, 2010).
Today’s game is the sixth meeting all-time in the tournament with LSU holding a 5-1 record over the Commodores.
Last season the Commodores used a complete-game performance by Mike Minor (in my opinion his best ever outing at Vanderbilt) to defeat the Tigers 4-1 in the opening game of the tournament.
The Tigers "roared" back from the loser's bracket winning five straight games, including a 6-2 win over Vanderbilt in the SEC Tournament Championship game, to capture their second straight tourney crown. Of course LSU went on to win the whole thing, marking the sixth National Championship in the program's history.
With several of the starters back, LSU jumped out to a great start this year and on April 21st were 32-6 overall and 11-4 in league play. Since that time the Tigers have faltered, going 5-14 overall and 3-11 in SEC action.
The Tigers opened the second season with a convincing 10-6 win over No. 1 seed Florida last night and many media types are saying that they appeared to have their swagger back.
LSU will throw junior right-hander Austin Ross (4-4, 5.13 ERA) tonight. He allowed two runs on five hits in 5.1 innings with four strikeouts and no walks and did not factor in the decision in his start against Vanderbilt on May 9.
In his last outing against Mississippi State on May 21, Ross allowed three runs on four hits in seven innings with eight strikeouts and no walks in the 17-3 win. On the year he has posted 86 strikeouts and 17 walks in 73.2 innings pitched.
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